This Is Why You Get A Brain Freeze When You Eat Something Cold

Ice cream headaches: revealed.

With summer almost here, things are beginning to heat up outside, which means we're going to be reaching for cold treats more often, since nothing hits the spot quite like ice cream when you're out in the blazing sun.  

The important thing to remember is not to eat ice cream too fast, otherwise you run the risk of developing a stabbing headache that nearly blinds you and takes away your ability to think. 

That's right: a brain freeze. 

But why does such a horrible thing happen just because we ate something cold?

Mental Floss recently discussed what happens when we experience sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia — that is, brain freeze.

The only reason we can feel pain is because of certain receptors in our brains responding to changes in blood flow when we have an injury. But, it's not a perfect system. Just like capsaicin in peppers can bind to the receptors we use to feel heat which is why spicy things seem hot, our pain receptors can also become confused if something like cold temperature, not trauma, is responsible for constricting our blood vessels. 

Curious about what regions of the brain are affected and how to heal the pain?

Check out the full explanation here:

Cover image: Shutterstock